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Over the past few years, the level of happiness in Russia has increased significantly

January 21 2008

In recent years, Russians are more satisfied with their lives. But the euphoria can pass. The reasons will be slowing income growth and growing demand.

The project "Life in Transition EBRD and World Bank in 2007 to measure how happy the people themselves feel the 28 countries in transition (from socialism to capitalism) economies. Sergei Guriev and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya New Economic School of compare these data with similar surveys, which in 1994-2004. spent World Values Survey. Domestic economists decided to find out why people living in transitional periods, are less satisfied with their lives than people in other countries with similar per capita incomes.

On a 10-point scale (10 - happiness 1 - bad luck), life satisfaction in transition countries was in the mid 1990's. at 1.48 points lower than in other countries with comparable income levels. By 2004, the gap has halved to 0.7 points. Then the average level of happiness in countries with economies in transition amounted to 6.3 points, and in comparable countries - 7 points, said Zhuravskaya. Last year's survey was conducted only in the transition economies and compare its results not what she says.

People often underestimate or even specifically understate their income, said the deputy director of the Levada Center, Alexei Grazhdankin: for example, Russians are generally at the polls indicate the level of income by 30-35% lower than that captures Rosstat (13,680 rubles. Per capita in November) . A 20-25% of the respondents refuse to talk about their earnings, he adds. But on the research results are not affected, said general director of Romir Monitoring Andrei Milekhin: people with the highest and lowest incomes in the sample of sociologists still do not get.

After a significant downturn earnings again resumed growth, and happiness is associated primarily with the dynamics, explains the different attitudes to the welfare Milekhin: people should feel improvement of their lives. The population does not respond to the absolute amount of money, and his change, I agree Grazhdankin: as real incomes rise, the rate of increase is slowing, because of what the money is beginning to yield less satisfaction.

Level schastyana given time more than 60% in Estonia, Slovenia, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 40-60% - Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Albania, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia. Up to 40% - Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Mongolia.

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